Addressing the Manufacturing Challenges of Cell-Based Therapies

  • Miguel de Almeida Fuzeta
  • André Dargen de Matos Branco
  • Ana Fernandes-Platzgummer
  • Cláudia Lobato da SilvaEmail author
  • Joaquim M. S. Cabral
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 171)


Exciting developments in the cell therapy field over the last decades have led to an increasing number of clinical trials and the first cell products receiving marketing authorization. In spite of substantial progress in the field, manufacturing of cell-based therapies presents multiple challenges that need to be addressed in order to assure the development of safe, efficacious, and cost-effective cell therapies.

The manufacturing process of cell-based therapies generally requires tissue collection, cell isolation, culture and expansion (upstream processing), cell harvest, separation and purification (downstream processing), and, finally, product formulation and storage. Each one of these stages presents significant challenges that have been the focus of study over the years, leading to innovative and groundbreaking technological advances, as discussed throughout this chapter.

Delivery of cell-based therapies relies on defining product targets while controlling process variable impact on cellular features. Moreover, commercial viability is a critical issue that has had damaging consequences for some therapies. Implementation of cost-effectiveness measures facilitates healthy process development, potentially being able to influence end product pricing.

Although cell-based therapies represent a new level in bioprocessing complexity in every manufacturing stage, they also show unprecedented levels of therapeutic potential, already radically changing the landscape of medical care.

Graphical Abstract


Bioreactor Cell therapy Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) Manufacturing Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) Process engineering 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel de Almeida Fuzeta
    • 1
  • André Dargen de Matos Branco
    • 1
  • Ana Fernandes-Platzgummer
    • 1
  • Cláudia Lobato da Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joaquim M. S. Cabral
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering and iBB-Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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